The Rebellious Crown 绝世神医之逆天魔妃

The Rebellious Crown


绝世神医之逆天魔妃 (醉紅顏,傲視臨川)


By 荨秣泱泱

    Look who is back!
Do you miss me? Wow…time has gone pretty fast since the last time I post a review. Sorry for not posting anything for such a long time, I sort of fell into the reading slump and scrambling my way out tirelessly. Besides, I’ve been crushed by all the texts I've to read for all the literature courses and endless essay…god bless me. So what was I doing in this entire year? I rarely read YA, but I turn my attention toward Chinese YA novels. Sound interesting huh? I actually hesitated a lot whether to finish this review or not, since the majority of my readers are more interested in YA and I don’t know if any of you can read Mandarin or not. Yet…I’m definitely writing a review about one of my favorite books among all the Chinese YA novel I’ve read, and I’m hoping that perhaps someday, you might be able to read it in English translation, or, you might be interested enough to read it in Chinese yourselves. So without farther a due, let’s get the party starts!


To begin with, I’ll introduce you a bit about the Chinese novel I’ve recently read. As you might remember, I read fantasy the most, and I also read historical novels as well. In Chinese novel, the genre I read are fantasy, contemporary fantasy, historical novel, and to name a few. However, the genres here are slightly different from the YA we know in American YA. The fantasy here isn’t like Harry Potter or Thorne of Glass blablabla. (Wait…can somebody tell me what happens to Thorne of Glass? I’ve completed abandon it after Celeana became Alein. Did I even spell the name correctly?) The fantasy in Chinese novel is more like A Hero Born: Legends of the Condor Heroes, which is a Chinese-English translation of a Chinese fantasy novel. It is not exactly the fantasy we used to know, but rather a mix of martial arts, a mix of magic and pentagram, a mix of traditional Chinese ideas about how to become an immortal, and without fairies waving wand saying abracadabra. But, we do have magical creatures, and a lot of them. We’ve got creatures, alchemy, the art of casting weapons, and all the other things you might not ever hear of. There is a lot of difference between the Chinese and English fantasy, but both of them are definitely interesting to read. 

    What about the historical novel? The historical novels I read are usually not based on the real historical period in China, but the author rather creates an environment that is similar to the ancient world we imagine, with more possibility, a bit like costume dramas or period drama. The Chinese fantasy I read are usually combined with historical novel, since a lot of the ideas have come from the past. Of course, there are also fantasy  about contemporary society, you know, after thousands of years…Chinese culture is basically the same idea.


And the most important concept of all Chinese novel I’ve read, there is an idea of transmigration and reincarnation. I know, the English definition for them is basically the same, but there is still something different in them. In Chinese novels, transmigration usually means a character transmigrate from the 21st century to the past, most of them rebirth on a character that was poorly treated by her family. Usually a character from a huge Chinese family. (I used her since most of them I read is about female character…so don’t argue with me.
Reincarnation usually means a character reborn once again after a tragic death, he or she might go past to several years ago. So those characters can change the historical events he/she wants to avoid so much. So he/she is still in the same body. Get it? Transmigration = different body, reincarnation = same body. The current Chinese fantasy novels are usually combined with the ideas of transmigration and reincarnation, since in the past, women are not an important figure in the Chinese society, and no one wants to read that anymore. So in order to make the protagonists strong, independent characters, the characters are usually transmigrator and reincarnator. Btw, there is a translated book called Transmigrator and Reincarnator, although I hate the translation name…but you might get the idea if you’re interested…to be clear, I’ve never read that book, so I don’t know whether it’s good or bad. Now, the genre can go on and on and on and…so since you have a basic idea, let’s start with the book, shall we? 

    Finally, the book I’m about to introduce you today is called绝世神医之逆天魔妃, let me just briefly translated it into The Rebellious Crown, can I? Let’s…start with the summary. And god bless my translation…

妖孽,离爷远点!某女一脸嫌弃。[“Devil…stay away from me!” She put him off.]

某男愤然撕衣,露出胸膛紫红印子,垂眸欲泣道:小歌儿,吃干抹净就想开溜,始乱终弃么?你昨天还说,从此以后我就是你的人!你这个负心汉!” [He tears of his robe, shows the hickeys on his chest, and tears in his eyes: “My dear Qing Ge, how can you run away after you have me, are you faithless to me? You said yesterday that I’m yours from now on, you heartbreaker!”]

卧槽,爷什么时候说过!人都晕了!” [Damn! When did I say that! I faint.]

他栖身上前,一把握住她的纤腰,邪气道:你敢跑,就叫你从此长晕不复醒!” [He caught her slim waist, said devilishly: “if you ran away, I’ll let you pass out on the bed forever.”]

“……” [“…”]

————

她,地球No.1,双系异能特工。穿越重生,骤然变成了三等国世袭的废材兼纨绔小爵爷。[She, the best agent on Earth, with two special abilities, transmigrated and became a useless, talentless heir of marquis in a third-class country.]

从此废材变天才,修炼一日千里,炼丹炼器手到擒来,群兽跪拜…… [Since then, loser became genius. Her abilities become magnificent, the art of alchemy and weapons become a piece of cake, and all creatures bow down to her.]

可是被迫女扮男装也就罢了,明明对外公布性别为男,为毛还惹来妖孽缠身?[Yet…not only she was forced to disguise in a male, why did he have a crush on me even I was known as a man? ]

从此,高冷神秘的圣主大人,化身成为苦逼追妻奴!一场势均力敌的追逐游戏,在两人之间展开……  [From now on, the untouchable high lord started his journey to his future wife assiduously! A nip-and-tuck battle started here.]

    Quite different from the intro we used to see, huh? But it is definitely intriguing to read a different sort of fantasy. When I finish the book…I’m completely out of words. The ending is fantastic, I’ve never read an ending as epic as this book. Well…I don’t know what will happen to Game of Thorne or other long epic, but I must say this book has one of the best endings. Let’s say…if you love the ending of Winter (The Lunar Chronicles), you’ll love the ending of this book. Please, can the author give me back all my tears?
 The novel is extremely long…about 4 million words…perfect. When I first read the length of the book…I almost give up on it...since it is an ebook and…you know, I hate ebooks. But it is all worth it. I take it about five days to finish it all…and then I went back to read it again recently. Magnificent book.

       Why do I recommend the book? I actually hesitated at first, since even you take mandarin as your second language, it’s a bit too long. But hey! I can do an English bookblog here, so you can do it as well. The first reason why I recommend the book is because of the wordings. Unlike other Chinese novels that are about fantasy, transmigration, and history, the words used here are comparably easier to understand. Of course, if your Chinese is good enough, you’ll still find it interesting to read, and the use of words is beautiful. 

     The novel is extremely long…about 4 million words…perfect. When I first read the length of the book…I almost give up on it...since it is an ebook and…you know, I hate ebooks. But it is all worth it. I take it about five days to finish it all…and then I went back to read it again recently. Magnificent  So, it’s perfect for not-so-perfect mandarin readers, but also a good one for Chinese native user to enjoy. Although the book might sound too thick to read, let me explain first. In Chinese novel industry, they have a different way of reading compare to English readers. They prefer online reading, so the author will continue writing every day. In that case, it might take a year or two to finish a single novel. Know you understand why the book is so long? You can take it as a non-stop trilogy. Perfect huh? There will never be a book too long to read.

     Why this book? The perfect world setting. Even though I called it a fantasy, historical novel…it is actually a different world setting. Just part of the world take over the ideas of the ancient Chinese dynasty. So…consider it an ancient Chinese setting with a huge world behind it. (Sort of like A Court of Thorne and Roses series, now you get the meaning.) In the book, there are three different worlds setting…which happens in most of the Chinese fantasy book. The magical three. In the first world, the world is composed of countries…so not far from the ideas we see from the ancient world. And here, you see the protagonist became strong on her own and protect her family from the idiot emperor. Then she met friends who will become the sequel protagonist of this book. Surprise!
 In the second world setting, even though she is now the strongest in her own country, she is still at the bottom of the second world. But, after the first world setting, she already has her own sidekicks and ability to protect herself and make her own force in the new land. Then blablabla after all the difficulties, she’ll then move on to the third world setting.
 Of course, she is still the bottom of all. Now you might ask, isn’t that a repetition? Indeed it is, but in most of the Chinese novels, it is kind of like a journey to the top. The protagonist will have to fight over and over until she is the strongest. And in a different world setting, she’ll have her destiny to do. For example, she might need to save her family in the first world and build her own forces. Then move on to the next world, she’ll find her missing parents. (Yes, her parents were missing, so the family is just her aunt and grandfather.) There is usually something more behind her family identity, which will relate to the power she had. Now, when she was in the second world, her own forces will spread out and make it greater, she herself will continue to face other possibilities and danger. Last, when she finally move on to the third world, where her forces are aimed to stop, the world setting will expand greater…and yes, aliens came. There will be much more to read and learn in a different setting. So even the idea might sound the same, there is actually a lot of backgrounds to read and explore. Easier to understand, like A Court of Thorns and Roses, when Feyre met only the Spring Court. Then in A Court of Mist and Fury, it’s a placed in both Night Court and the entire faire world. Last, in A Court of Wings and Ruin, it’s about the entire world. But here in The Rebellious Crown, the world setting is a lot bigger. How can you not love it? So many things might happen in the different world!

     So why among all the Chinese novels but her? I love the characters in it. We have a strong, independent female protagonist and a swooning male book boyfriend. How can you not love it? The female protagonist, Qing Ge was originally a top 21th-century agent, betrayed by her partner, she transmigrated on a girl in an unknown country. Unlike every character you’ll ever read in YA, she is strong and mature. AND A BADASS!!!!
 I know, everyone sort of question the ideas that every protagonist in YA is about 18 years old…and they save the world! Yeah!!!! But hey, we have a protagonist originally in her 30s or probably 20s, then back to her 15. Well…actually at the end of the books she is once again about 30…but…in the Chinese novel, time counts different as we mortals…so she is still pretty young. You’ll understand once I take about the male protagonist.
Even as a protagonist, who is supposed to succeed every single time, you will actually see all the hardships she conquers. It’s not an easy journey…she almost died for twice. I mean literary dead…and the story will go to THE END. The journey in the Chinese novel is majorly about growing strong, different from the self-discovery journey in YA. You’ll see her struggle, tears, and everything that is hidden behind her grand success. And you’re gonna fall in love with her once you read everything. You’ll impress by her wisdom, her courage, and her beauty.

Now…let’s take about my new book lover?
 Si Mo is the male protagonist in the book. Oh, and about the names…I haven’t come out with a perfect translated name for the characters, so let’s just stick with how it pronounce in Chinese. Back to the hot guy…wow. Unlike the traditional YA where you find the male characters stick with the protagonist all the time…yes, I’m talking about you, Stephanie Meyer. The male character here is all about the companion. In the Chinese novel, male characters are usually a very powerful figure in the society, there is no difference. So…imagine, the protagonist has to climb all the way up to the highest mountains. The male character can simply wave his hand and solve all the problems…but he chooses not to. He gives the protagonist a chance to grow up and become stronger until she can stand next beside him. A bit different from YA where both of them grow strong together. It’s a different way of reading…so it is hard to say which is better. You might ask if he can save it all, why do we need the protagonist to grow up? Indeed, but if he can do it all, there will be no strong female figure…oh wait, Vivian, that’s not the main problem, you’re out of your mind.
 I think…the greater you are, the more responsibility you’ll have to do. And both Qing Ge and Si Mo have their own destiny to fulfill…like I said, the final enemy isn’t just about themselves, but there is a bigger world to conquer. So if he didn’t give her the chance to grow up, how can she face the future? Even he’ll have to see her bleed, see her tortured…it’s still a past to take and no way to give up. Nevertheless…when it’s time for him to appear…he is definitely the hottest and most powerful of them all.
 Like I said before, Si Mo here is all about companion…so he rarely appears in the first and second world setting…I know, you want to throw the book out. I do too. But claim yourselves…because you’ll throw away your phone, not book.
 Well,…although he rarely appears at first…he actually pop out in several important moments…so the readers will never forget him. (But I’m still hoping to see more of Si Mo…*SIGH) I ALMOST FORGET THE AGE PART!!!!!! As I said…we don’t have a lot of young, naïve characters here in the book…instead…or dear male character is more than 10k year old. (Oops! Spoiler!) Sound exciting?

     The best things about this book aren’t just about two of the main characters. All the side characters are perfect, no matter the villain or good. Let’s all agree that Dolores Umbridge is THE MOST hateful character in among all the villain right? You’ll find the villains in The Rebellious Crown a hundred times worse than she. See how successful the author build up the characters? And all the other characters, Qing Ge’s army, her lady maids, her friends, her enemy, and her magical creatures. Everyone has their own stories and destinies to fulfill and a story to enjoy. There are too many characters to be said, so I’ll just about the magical creatures in the book. The magical creatures in Chinese novels usually can have the same purpose as human. They practice to grow more powerful, and to a certain extent, they can transform into humans when they’re strong enough. But of course, some of them have a better heritage to become heroes and some cannot. Also, in the relation between magical creatures and characters in Chinese novels, most of the protagonist take them as partners and friends, rather than pets. (Of course…some horrible characters did treat the creatures badly…but that’ll never happen on the main characters.) Qing Ge has a fox and a snake here in the book…but they’re not just about a fox and a snake…they might turn into something you’ve never imagine. Oh…and it’s definitely unlike Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them.

    More about the books, there are endless things to mention. And one of the most intriguing things that you might be interested in the treasures. As you might know, there are a lot of weapons in traditional Chinese martial art…and combine with magic…they’re endless possibilities. Moreover, in Chinese novels, they usually believe that there is a “soul” in everything, every rocks and tree, and flower. So imagine there is a soul in your weapon or fire that someday might appear in front of you in a human form to fight beside you. Trust me, that is what happens in the book. Sounds unbelievable right? Read the book yourselves and you’ll understand what I mean. Also, the alchemy here is not just about making things into gold, but rather powerful medicine pill. It’s hard to explain the concept in English, a bit like potion making, but the potion comes in pills. Imagine when you take the pills, you might have the ability to be more powerful, to come back from death and to all the other abilities that are unnatural. That’s the power of alchemy here, so now you know how powerful the protagonist is. Also, the art of making weapons…it might be more similar to the alchemy you know. They put different material together and make it a weapon. Why are both of the ability so important? In the Chinese fantasy setting, when you want to study both of the abilities, you’ll need special talents on mind control, which means your mind is stronger than others, so you can separate your attention when having the complicated process of making weapons and alchemy. It is a strong ability apart from the power they possess in their world setting…so the alchemists are rare. Not to say there are also different levels of alchemy. Remember I mentioned about the soul in everything? If you are the saint alchemist, you might have the ability to make your pills and weapons the best of them all, and the better they are, the more immortality they are. The lowest pill may give you the power of healing wounds, the highest pill will turn a dead person alive after ten years. (As long as his corpse is still complete.)
 Don’t you just love the world setting?

    Last but not least, the author put into a lot of ideas and concept about the world, how she imagines them, how people should treat each other and blablabla. Whether you like the idea or not, she put them in an acceptable way. You’ll not interfere by it if you hold an objection, but if you agree, you’ll be impressed. Let’s say, homosexual. An issue debates all over the world. At the beginning of the book, the Qing Ge disguises as a man, and due to her characteristic, she attracts a lot of girls to fall in love with her. Even in the end, she reveals her secret about her true gender, those girls still helplessly in love with her. A lot of Chinese readers hate the ideas, not just because of the homosexual, but other weird reasons. You know, haters gonna hate. The point is, the author reveals the ideas that to those we love, we love not only about the appearance or body but the person itself. We fell in love with the person inside, no matter how he or she changes. Isn’t that perfect? Even though I might not be the strongest supporter of homosexual, I love the ideas here she gives us all. So…how can you not love the book? A book with magic, strong and sassy characters, hot characters, huge world setting and everything that is different from the YA you’ve read before. Read it, or you’ll definitely regret it.

  If you’re interested in the book, subscribe The Rebellious Crown (http://www.xxsy.net/info/829057.html) You can have the first few chapter for free.

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